It’s nearly 7 p.m.
at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox
and the theatre is almost full. The audience buzzes with conversation, wondering what will come when megastar Hugh Jackman
travels to a tiny village in Ethiopia
in the film Dukale’s Dream
The feature-length movie, which premiered in Canada in partnership with World Vision on July 8, documents the actor’s visit to a coffee farm run by a young father named Dukale. Through the pair’s unlikely but evident connection, audiences learn about challenges in the fair-trade industry and how anyone—A-lister or not—can be part of the solution.
Childview sat down with the film’s director, Josh Rothstein, who spilled the beans on the film—six years in the making.
Director Josh Rothstein. Photography by Kimberly Rupnarain
Why did you create this film? I aspire to tell inspirational films that evoke a sense of what our role might be in having a positive impact on this planet. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to tell this story. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would turn into a feature-length film.
What was it like working with Hugh Jackman? Hugh is an incredibly humble guy. He’s acutely aware as well of the success he’s had and the opportunity he has to shine a light [on issues] by leveraging his profile. To meet somebody who’s willing to tell a story and to stick with something like this was just a dream come true.
What were your first impressions of Dukale and did they change over the course of filming? Dukale has a very beautiful energy and a disarming way about him. But it wasn’t till I went back two other times and spent time alone with his family that I really got to have a closer connection. It’s just a very personal film for me that way. When you spend time with people on that level, there’s a very strong sense of responsibility to make sure this film reaches its potential.
Why do you feel Canadians need to watch Dukale’s Dream? What should they do afterwards?
I think that we all aspire to do the right thing and we all have a sense that there’s more we can do. This film provides one model for how we could impact some of the world’s most pressing issues, from global poverty to environmental sustainability. So, go to your local coffee shop. If it doesn’t carry ethically sourced products, inquire why. If they do have fair trade coffee, take a photo of it and hashtag #DukalesDream.
And finally, how do you take your coffee?
I’ve spent time in Australia so a flat white
. However, I’m also a cortado-macchiato
guy. And after drinking Dukale’s coffee, my taste buds are into the stronger, fresh coffee. You can’t go back once you taste the good stuff.
INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Childview Plus.